1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)
When I was about seven years old, I caught a large bumblebee by throwing my duffel coat over it. It was an act of bravado, which impressed my pals in the school playground where the event took place. Just as I went to recover my coat, the recess bell sounded, so we all hurried back to class. As I picked the coat up, there was no sign of the bumblebee, which disturbed me all day.
After school, I walked home in the rain and got absolutely drenched because I wouldn't wear my duffel coat. I was totally convinced that the bee was somewhere in the sleeves, just waiting to sting me if and when I put my arms into the coat. For the next two days I carried my coat to school, even although it was cold and wet. My anxiety became so great that I was even getting to be reluctant about carrying the coat.
On the third day, my salvation came when we were playing soccer during recess. I volunteered my coat as a goal post. As I laid it down, you'll never guess what happened — the bee flew out of my sleeve! My instincts had been right, but greater than that, I was now free of the worry.
As the years have passed, I've discovered that guilt is much the same. When it's unconfessed, it lies dormant within us, causing anxiety, stress, and fear. That's why each Sunday in worship the main prayer is one of confession, a sacred seeking of God's forgiveness for the many mistakes we have made and the personal guilt we carry. Only when we come to Jesus with our sins can He manage to liberate us from all unrighteousness and restore us to God's grace.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, there are some secrets we keep which burden our hearts and wound our souls. There are some things we have done that weigh heavily on our minds. Forgive us for being foolish and selfish, greedy and unworthy. Absolve us from the past, restore us at this present time, and reclaim us for Your everlasting kingdom in the future. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.